TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team came out with a victory in their first match of the spring dual match season as they defeated the No. 54 Florida International Golden Panthers 5-2 at the Scott Speicher Center.
“Today the girls did a great job playing in pretty cold and windy conditions,” said associate head coach Oliver Foreman. “This type of weather is a great equalizer, and what the difference was today was discipline. This time last year I didn’t feel we were ready to compete and struggled with a loss to open the season, but this year was the different. The girls have done a much better job of being prepared physically and mentally and I think a start like this sets us up very well for next weekend for hosting National Indoors.”
Florida State’s started the day in doubles as the young tandem of sophomore Francesca Segarelli and freshman Ruth Seaborne were victorious as they defeated Liset Brito and Rita Maisak 8-2. Florida State wasn’t finished as Schalre and freshman Manon Veldman defeated Lisa Johnson and Maria Spenceley 8-5 to give the Seminoles the extra point in doubles.
In singles the Seminoles continued their winning ways taking four out of six hard fought matches against the Golden Panthers. Senior Katie Rybakova defeated Liset Brito 6-3, 6-4 and fellow senior Federica Suess defeated Rita Maisak 6-2, 6-2. Freshman Ruth Seaborne won the first singles dual match of her career winning 6-2, 6-1 over Maria Spenceley. The story of the day however was sophomore Noemie Scharle returning to play her first dual match in over a year due to a medical redshirt last season. Scharle returned to the courts as she had left them, which was in dominating fashion as she defeated Lisa Johnson 6-1, 6-3.
“It’s always good to win your first match,” added Scharle. “The first match is always very mental, it’s hard to just to get right back into it and I feel it’s always the hardest match. I feel like next week is going to be much better.”
Although her play would suggest otherwise, Scharle admits to being a little nervous in retuning to the tennis courts for her first official match back.
“Actually I was quite nervous before the match, especially when I am playing at home, but I got into the match well,” said Scharle. “My opponent didn’t start out very well, but after the second set she played much better and I got a little bit tense. I feel like I just need to get back into the swing of it, but the girls helped motivate me today and it all worked out. Overall I think we did great today. Fran just lost, but she played a great match. Manon is getting so much better, and everybody down the line played awesome tennis. I think it was great preparation for next week.”
The team credits much of their success to the support of loyal Seminole fans that came out on such a cold day to cheer them on.
“I was extremely impressed with our fans today to come out and support us,” said Foreman. “I cannot thank them enough for how much of a difference their presence makes with our girls competing at home."
The Seminoles will return to action next Saturday to host the National Indoors. As always, fans can follow the team on Seminoles.com, facebook and on twitter